Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

Melt-in the mouth and flakey crust with a moist and buttery bread, filled with a rich chocolate hazelnut crunch filling.

Happy New Year’s Eve! To celebrate, I am making a Chocolate Babka! Over the past couple of months on Instagram, I have seen many baking bloggers making babka. The intricate twisting pattern caught my eye, and I wanted to learn how to do it! I did not expect this twist to be so simple! Babkas are an Eastern European Jewish Bread/Cake that is made from a buttery and eggy dough, and is traditionally filled with cinnamon or jam. However, the chocolate lover in me wanted to try the chocolate version.

Little did I know, making babka is a pretty intensive process. I began by making the filling because it is important for the chocolate filling to completely cool before rolling it into the bread dough. If the filling is not completely cooled, the picture perfect babka twist will not turn out and the chocolate will smear all over the bread dough. The filling is made by melting together the butter, sugar, and chocolate in a double boiler. Then, you remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. Transfer into a separate bowl to cool. While I was waiting for the chocolate mixture to melt, I toasted hazelnuts in the oven until golden and then I coarsely chopped them. This will add a nice crunch to the final product.

While the chocolate filling is cooling, make the bread dough. This is the typical process for making very buttery, flakey bread, like brioche. Make the sponge with instant yeast, sugar, and milk (at about 110 degrees F) and set aside until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt together. Add the eggs and sponge to the stand mixer and mix on slow speed for 2-3 minutes. The dough will be very firm at this point. Increase the speed to medium and slowly add the softened butter a tablespoon at a time. Between each tablespoon, mix well. It may take some time for the butter to incorporate fully. This long process of incorporating the butter is what creates the flakiness of the bread. Once the butter is all incorporated, continue to knead until the dough is very smooth and can pass the window pane test.

Roll the freshly kneaded dough into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface (make sure the long edge is closest to you). Spread the cooled chocolate fudge filling over top, leaving about a 1 cm boarder. Work quickly because the chocolate sauce will be more difficult to spread once poured out. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on the top. As you would with cinnamon rolls, tightly roll the dough starting from the long edge closest to you making sure you are not stretching the dough any bigger than 12 x 16 inches. If stretched, the bread will not fit into the bread tin. Trim about an inch off each end to create clean ends.

To form the twist, rotate the spiral of dough 90 degrees so that the short end is closest to you. Using a large sharp knife, slice lengthways down through the middle of the dough, cutting it into 2 long pieces. Face each half upwards and gently seal the tops of each half. Begin crossing the right half over the left, then the left over the right, repeating until the ends touch to seal. Again, be careful not to pull and stretch the halves while twisting, or the bread will not fit in the bread pan. Carefully lift the twist into a greased and parchment lined bread pan and cover with plastic wrap. Proof until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Once proofed, bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, then 325 for 25-30 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the bread to make sure it isn’t getting too brown. I had to cover my babka with foil during the baking process to prevent it from getting too dark on top. The bread will be done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the babka is baking, make the syrup. Over low heat in a small sized sauce pan, boil sugar and water for 5 minutes. Let cool and brush over the babka immediately after it comes out of the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!

I’d love to see your beautiful babkas! Take pictures and tag me on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane!

Paul Hollywood's Chocolate Hazelnut Babka

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • 65g blanched hazelnuts
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 80g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • For the dough:
  • 275g all-purpose flour
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 25g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50mL whole milk
  • 80g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • For the syrup:
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100mL water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and roast hazelnuts for 4-5 minutes on a baking tray until golden and then coarsely chop. Let cool.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the butter, sugar, and chocolate until very smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder. Pour into a bowl and let cool and thicken.
  3. Make the sponge. Mix the instant yeast, sugar, and warm milk (about 110 degrees F) together and let sit until frothy.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt together. Add the eggs and sponge to the stand mixer and mix on slow speed for 2-3 minutes. *Note: the dough will be very firm at this point.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and slowly add the softened butter a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Continue to knead the dough with the dough hook until smooth and the dough passes the window pane test.
  7. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 12 x 16 inch rectangle, with the long edge closest to you.
  8. Spread the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 cm border all around. Sprinkle all the toasted hazelnuts over the top.
  9. Starting from the long edge closest to you, roll up the dough into a tight spiral, with the seam underneath. Be sure to not stretch the dough too much.
  10. Trim an inch off each end to neaten, and turn the roll 90 degrees so the short end is closest to you. Using a large knife, slice lengthways down the middle of the dough cutting it into 2 long pieces.
  11. Flip each half upwards and gently seal the tops of each half. Begin crossing the right half over the left, then the left over the right, repeating until the ends touch to seal (be careful not to pull and stretch the halves while twisting, or the bread will not fit in the bread pan)
  12. Carefully lift the twist into a greased and parchment lined bread pan and cover with plastic wrap. Proof until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  13. Once proofed, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes.
  14. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cover with foil if the bread gets too brown.
  15. While the bread is baking, make the syrup. In a small sized sauce pan, boil sugar and water for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  16. Brush over the babka immediately after it comes out of the oven.

Tate tested by friends and family with love.

Fabulous Famous Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crunchy on the outside, gooey in the inside, sweet and salty chocolate chip cookies.

Every week until Christmas, I will be posting a new cookie recipe to celebrate! Today, I am sharing Jacques Torres’ famous chocolate chip cookie recipe that my mom found in the New York Times. So far this month, I have shared Greek Sesame Twist Cookies, Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms, Super Simple Nutella Lover’s Chocolate Cookies, and Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons. Follow my blog and my Instagram so you don’t miss another recipe!

Over the years, I have been trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Although chocolate chip cookies are the most basic cookie, a good recipe is so hard to find. I was so excited to give this New York Times recipe a try! I like my chocolate chip cookies crunchy on the edges and gooey and slightly cakey in the center with a strong chocolatey flavor throughout the whole cookie. These cookies check off all the boxes! The edges have a nice, crunchy caramelized exterior with a sweet, buttery, and chocolatey center that melts in your mouth.

I added my own little spin on this recipe. I have discovered that the key to making the best chocolate chip cookie is to use chopped chocolate (especially Jacques’ good chocolate). It could be a chocolate bar that you chop up into small pieces or chocolate chips that you chop. It is important to cut whatever chocolate you use because it will create small flakes of chocolate that will get distributed throughout the dough. This will give the cookie a chocolatey flavor in every bite!

This cookie also requires cake flour and bread flour as opposed to all-purpose flour. The combination of these flours provides the perfect chewiness and tenderness that makes the cookie so unique and perfect. It is crucial to let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours to let the gluten rest and the butter to chill. During this time, the flavors will develop and get richer. This dough freezes well too, so if you freeze them, you can always have a fresh baked cookie (or cookies) whenever you are craving it! Before baking, sprinkle some coarse salt on top of the cookie to elevate the flavor and make a sweet and salty treat. I like to use pink salt. Then, bake until slightly golden on the edges.

Although it is some extra work to chop the chocolate and use a mix of flours, it is well worth it in end. These cookies from the famous Chocolatier, Jacques Torres are exceptionally delicious. I would love to see your chocolate chip cookies! Tag me in your creations @beyondbakingwithamandajane on Instagram.

Fabulous Famous Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 7-8 dozen
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ganulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds chopped chocolate
  • Sea salt to sprinkle

Directions

  1. Line cookie tray with a silicon mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, bakign powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until very light, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.
  6. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  7. Scoop the dough using a 1-inch cookie scoop and place each dough ball next to each other on a lined cookie tray to chill for 24-72 hours. *note: you can also place in a container with parchment paper and freeze.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place dough 2 inches apart on lined cookie trays. Sprinkle the top with sea salt.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden.

Taste tested with love by friends and family.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Light, chewy, and moist coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate.

9 more days till Christmas! We’re celebrating with coconut macaroons! Don’t get them confused with the French macaron though. Coconut macaroons are a mixture of coconut and egg whites that form a sweet and chewy cookie. French macarons are whipped egg whites that get folded in with almond flour and sandwiched with various fillings.

Every week until Christmas, I will be posting some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes! So far this month, I have made Greek Sesame Twist Cookies, Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Super Simple Nutella Lover’s Chocolate Cookies. Follow my blog and my Instagram so you don’t miss a recipe!

These cookies are definitely for the Coconut lovers, and they are super easy to make. I like to add a little bit of cake flour to my cookies, which is not necessarily traditional. I like to add the cake flour because it makes the cookies a little more tender and soft. I also like to dip my macaroons in chocolate because, in this house, we love chocolate!

To make these cookies, begin by pulsing the coconut flakes in a food processor to make smaller flakes. I like to pulse the shredded coconut because it looks smoother and less messy in the final product. In a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water, heat the egg whites, sugar, and salt until warm to the touch. Remove from heat and add the extracts, baking powder, flour and coconut. Freeze for 25 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours. Once chilled, use a 1-inch cookie scoop, and scoop the dough and place 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake until just golden.

Dipping the macaroons in chocolate makes these cookies even better than they already are, but it is totally optional! After baking, you can put the macaroons into the fridge and chill for an hour. Then, dip the macaroons in melted chocolate. I just used Nestle chocolate chips and melted about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler. Let the chocolate set in the fridge again. Enjoy!

I would love to see you try out my coconut macaroons! Tag me in your pictures on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane!

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

  • Servings: 12 cookies
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Ingredients

    For the cookie:
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • For the chocolate (optional):
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the coconut into small flakes.
  2. On medium heat, bring a pot of water to a simmer for a double boiler.
  3. In the top of the double boiler, add the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Whisk continuously until warm to the touch.
  4. Remove from heat, add in the vanilla, almond, baking powder, salt, flour, and shredded coconut. Mix until well combined. Freeze for 25 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, place balls 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. If you want to dip in chocolate, refrigerate until chilled. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip in chocolate. Let the chocolate set in the refrigerator.

Taste tested with love by friends and family.

Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Cupcake

Soft and rich chocolate cake with a light, whipped peanut butter buttercream.

Welcome to my first recipe, I am so excited you are here! Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts to make because there is so much room for creativity when decorating. The majority of the time, in my opinion, the way cupcakes are decorated either make or break the whole thing. Today, I decided to decorate half of my cupcakes with just mini chocolate chips and the other half with chocolate ganache and mini chocolate chips.

This chocolate cake recipe is my favorite. It is rich with chocolatey flavor, yet very light and moist at the same time. A key ingredient to make the cake rich in chocolate is adding strong, hot coffee. As someone who doesn’t like coffee, I have found that adding just a half cup of hot coffee and hot milk strengthens the chocolate flavor without making the overall cake have a coffee flavor. Using plant milk doesn’t have much of an effect on the cake, so if you are like me and my family and don’t have regular dairy milk, use what you have- almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk, all work just fine!

I was having trouble with my foil liners sticking to the bottom of my cupcake tin because of two reasons:

  • In the hot oven, the coloring on the outside of the liner had a tendency to stick
  • Small drips of batter got between the liner and the cupcake tin

To fix the first problem, put a small square of parchment paper at the bottom of each cupcake tin. This made it so much easier to remove from the tray. As for the second reason, since the batter is really thin, it is easy for the batter to drip, so I like to let the batter sit on the counter for about 5 minutes so it thickens up slightly, then I fill the cupcake liners. This will make it easier for you to scoop batter into each cupcake liner.

Don’t worry about the parchment squares being even, nobody but you is seeing it!

The frosting has a strong peanut butter flavor to pair with the chocolatey flavor of the cupcakes. It is important that the butter and the creamy peanut butter are whipped together before the confectioners sugar is added and after it is added. This will ensure that the frosting is lighter and more airy. Before the buttercream sets, feel free to decorate your cupcakes however you like! I used a 2D Wilton tip and mini chocolate chips! Comment below how you decided to decorate your cupcakes!

I’d love to see your cupcake creations! Tag me on Instagram with your pictures!

Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Cupcake

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup very hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup very hot milk*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line 24 large cupcake tins with a paper liner.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup milk, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  5. Mix together the hot coffee and hot milk. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the batter and stir until it is well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes, then fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Clean any excess batter around the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool to room temperature, then put the cupcakes in the refrigerator while making the frosting.

For the frosting:

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2- 3 cups of powered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk*
Directions:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter, then whip on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoon of milk. Mix until combined.
  3. Add another Tablespoon of milk (if needed) with the vanilla and salt, until the desired consistency. Whip for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Put the frosting in a large piping bag fitted with your desired tip, and decorate!
*Plant milk can also be used. I used almond milk.

Taste tested by family and friends with love